Carolyn Resnick Horsemanship: Liberty Horse Training

The Foundation for All Equestrian Pursuits Through the Horse-Human Connection.

Hanging out with Ruella and Skeetz at Spirit Horse Ranch

My Clinic with Ruella Yates
I have not done a Waterhole Rituals clinic away from home for some time. Going to Ruella Yates Spirit Horse Ranch in Oklahoma City was a great adventure; it was a very nurturing event for me.  Yes it was cold but I was able to dress warm enough.  Karen Corn and her husband Tony brought heaters for the guests. Thank you for your contribution! It was greatly appreciated. I felt the clinic would go well but not as well as it did or that I would have so much fun! I would like to do more clinics like this one on the same intimate level that was built around bonding and performance.

What I Offer:
I feel what I offer to people in my clinics is important in regards to training a horse without insistence, force or entrapment.  Giving freedom to the horse and allowing the horse to begin a relationship with you offers a path that is eye opening in how easy it is to train a horse and how willing and smart horses are when we allow a horse time to process and respond naturally without tack. Allowing a horse to be free and be able to shape our leadership to suit the personality of the horse we find out how to draw the horse to connect and perform easily. In these moments we can train the horse to respect our leadership and develop his care taking nature so we may depend on his willingness to follow our lead once he is under saddle.  When the horse is willing we then can begin “moving in the direction of ease”, as Ruella would say. It is a step by step process using unique flexible rules that are easy to learn that are based on common sense and fair play. My method builds character both in the horse and the human from the efforts to shape a horse to see you as his leader.

Using Different Personalities:
We had all kinds of horses and ponies to show how to approach different personalities and attitudes. We had a shy pony personality and two aggressive pony personalities and all these different attitudes had to fit in with me. All three ponies came around easily in the clinic because of the deep bond Ruella had developed with them by Sharing Territory. Ruella had acquired them with the attitudes they demonstrated to me and I could see that Ruella did indeed have her work cut out for her. There was Starwyn, a Welsh pony mare, Jackie and Strider who are miniatures not to be taken lightly. All I could do was fall in love with them through the process and stay safe until I could convince them to play it my way. My focus with them was on developing their gas pedal. Once that was fixed they were willing and enthusiastic and easy to dance with at liberty.

I will have a DVD soon available on this clinic that will focus on how to motivate a horse to have a great gas pedal. I believe the hardest thing to fix is a gas pedal that has been removed for whatever reason. When this happens the horse looses respect as well as his instincts to fit in and follow your lead.  I have found that all horses that have a great gas pedal also have care taking natures if developed through social interactions at liberty.

A Beautiful Friendship:
A love affair happened at the clinic between Patches and Sophie. When I arrived Patches was aloof so I left him alone while I worked with Ruella’s horses, Renn and the ponies. Patches was pacing terribly to get to a solo mare, Sophie, in the field. She showed no interest but Patches was beside himself. So they put him with her and the love affair began.  I was so struck by their connection that I wanted to steal them away like Robert Redford did with a retired race horse in the movie Electric Horseman. I wanted to free them to some paradise in nature where no one would ever find them.

Patches cared for nothing about life except Sophie and diving any horse away that got within 75 feet of her! Sophie even got caught up with chasing the other horses away as well. They ran together and played and chased horses, it was so beautiful because of the happiness they exuded.

Then the miracle happened. I would not have given two cents for his owner to be able to do a demonstration dancing with him. Susan Smith his owner was not worried at all, that disturbed me. I felt that Patches would cling to Sophie and would not want anything to do with Susan, but she had a truly dependable connection with her horse. They were music together in their demonstrations. Never once did Patches look back at Sophie and Sophie stood watching the dance like she approved and understood. Their dance showed the power of the Waterhole Rituals.

Cowboy and MaryGaye:
Then there were Cowboy and MaryGaye. I enjoyed working with them as much as they enjoyed learning. Cowboy is a big horse that takes up a lot of space and loves MaryGaye as much as MaryGaye loves Cowboy. Their lesson looked like an exhibition of my method, like a ballet of connection we would all like to have. Cowboy is learning how to place his feet carefully and in time with MaryGaye.

Every person and horse in the lessons I worked with brought understanding in how to approach my method as well as understanding of the mind of a horse and how to win his respect and focus.

Students came from Near and Far:
We had people come as far off as England, North Carolina, and Canada. One evening Ruella surprised us with an exhibition of Indian dancers in their regalia that was absolutely beautiful. Horses ran and dancers danced. Brent Greenwood the director of the exhibition explained the meaning behind each dance. Tommy, a little boy, showed us how to be to be full hearted from his focus and presence. I could see that his dance energized his spirit and he could have danced all night. We had a flute player that left me with a feeling of well being that I continue to carry with me today. The whole exhibition brought me great joy. This joy left me with the feeling that I would like to travel again and do another clinics. If you would like to host a clinic in your area please let us know by emailing us .

I will travel no further than a two-day’s drive with one night on the road. This is easy and I enjoy the drive. I would like to do a clinic in the Sedona or Scottsdale area especially.

Carolyn with Kai and Skeetz

Ruella thank you for your friendship and your great effort to make this clinic a warm, meaningful and mindful event for me. It was a vacation and a great joy to meet and work with everyone!

My clinic at Ruella’s would not have been possible if it wasn’t for a dear friend, Carey Schulman, who took care of my mother while I was gone.  She was here for her for ten days taking care of all of her needs bringing fun activities and the care of Apollo.  It was hard leaving Apollo behind and my mother but with Carey here, I knew they probably had a better time with her than they did me.  I also want to thank my staff at the Ranch, Alethia, Teddie and Jeannette.  I also want to thank Kai for driving me across country.  And a big thanks to Ruella and Skeetz for making this clinic flow as smooth as silk and taking care of all my needs and for her company and laughter that we shared together.


Don’t forget to watch out for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.


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31 Responses to “I am back from my Clinic with Ruella Yates”

  1. 29
    Toby Houtman says:

    What a wonderful clinic, makes me regret even more that I won’t be able to join the BTWR in december. Looking forward to the gas pedal dvd. Unfortunally Juno isn’t allowed to trot due to tendon injury, but I’ll save it for better times!

  2. 28
    Robyn Bardas, New Zealand EC 2010, BTWHR 2012, IC 2012, Stellar. says:

    Hello Carolyn,

    Thankyou for our first small group call today, it was wonderful (as usual) and has hit the spot for me in going forward. After all the gains we all made during the Insider Circle, I was loosing a bit of momentum, pretending we were having a little rest and getting distracted by life, and now here it is again. Dates on my calendar when I have to have things done by are the best.

    You now know my horse and have been with me from day 1 with her, and together with support we’re moving in the right direction. Even though I’m getting better at allowing my instincts or the situation to show me what to do next, this clear personal program is the teacher I take with me to the paddock.

    Am off to work on the gas pedal and make use of our spring wind… or UBS..

    Huge thanks,

    xx Robyn and Stellar

  3. 27

    Dear Carolyn,

    Thank you so very much for giving those of us who could not be at this special clinic a wonderful feel for it. I would have loved to be there. It must have been so good for the soul.

    I, too, am looking forward to the gas pedal dvd.


  4. 26

    Sounds like everyone had a wonderful titme.

    Those minis are adorable.

    I too, anxiously await the dvd. Not that I think my horses need a gas pedal update, but just to watch.

  5. 25
    Tamara Blits says:

    I love all the people, who love horses. I just wished everone would understand them. you are a blessing, Carolyn; a gift from god . I will always love you. I guess you’ll have to stay with having fun. You are the best leader, we have. Thanks for your story, Glad you had such a good time.

  6. 24
    Bonnie Beresford/IC/Guelph Ontario/Chance and Folly says:

    Priceless! Waiting impatiently for December!

  7. 23
    Catherine van Ravenstein says:


    I love your approach to horses, and the adventures you share with your readers. So much of what you write resonates with how I feel horses should be interacted with!

    I take care of and ride a 10-year old Friesian mare at least three times a week since she was 6. The owner has had her since she was a foal, and I know she’s been treated well and has always been around other horses.

    You say: “I believe the hardest thing to fix is a gas pedal that has been removed for whatever reason. When this happens the horse looses respect as well as his instincts to fit in and follow your lead.”

    When I read that, I feel it describes her perfectly. She loves to have her ears scratched and she loves food. Other than that she rarely reacts to humans (with other horses she’s different, though still very laid back). She ignores me when sharing territory, and she will only follow me after I do a “join up” routine in a round pen and then only for a short period. I love her to bits, but I feel like I’m missing a big part of her.

    So I too can’t wait see your new DVD!

  8. 22
    Desiree, the Netherlands, EC spring 2012, IC summer 2012 with Abby says:

    A love story, horse training, the warmth of friendship, cultural exchange, loads of learning & laughter … it sure sounds like all the ingredients for beautiful memories that will last a lifetime! Since Europe is a bit more than a two day drive away, I guess I will have to start looking at plane tickets to join in the real-time fun. Can’t wait to watch your new DVD!

  9. 21
    Michele Gough says:

    Sounds like you were in your bliss Carolyn. How wonderful and blessed. Wish I could have been there. Very happy to hear you’re going to be doing more clinics. This is what you were put on this earth to do and it’s a privilege for us to watch you do it.

    Thank you,

  10. 20
    Susan Smith says:

    This was an amazing clinic for everyone who was a part of it, thank you, Carolyn and Ruella, for all your hard work in putting it together. The romance between Patches and Sophie was definitely not something I had counted on when coming to Oklahoma. Although when I was asked to do a demo with Patches I didn’t know if he would connect, I trusted that what we had built together over the past year would carry us through somehow. From the moment he came into the arena with me he stuck with me. The lesson was incredible – I saw in my horse new and wonderful potential.
    It was wonderful to see the work that MaryGaye had done with Cowboy under the tutelage of Ruella Yates during the months since I had seen them last. He is a changed horse, and the bond between horse and owner is palpable.
    A great experience, I hope to be followed by many more!


  11. 19
    Skeetz Yates says:

    It was really gratifying to see the joy and learning take place during this clinic. What a pleasure to have Carolyn and all of the other guests here at Spirit Horse Ranch experiencing first hand the exchange of energy and knowledge that occured. It appeared to me that much was learned and many friendships were established. Thank you Carolyn for a great clinic. Warmly, Skeetz

  12. 18

    I am full in eyes and heart reading about the magical connections at your clinic at Spirit Horse Ranch. You guys were in my thoughts all weekend and the stories and pictures that have come out make me feel like I was there. To have ones horse at the clinic must be such a gift! Maybe next time I at least can come!

    Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to the new gas pedal dvd. especially looking forward to seeing Ruella’s ponies joining in, because as you know…Ponies Rule! lol

    Laurinda and spirit ponies

    p.s. having witnessed my own incredible horse love story some years ago it is heartening to hear of the magical connection of Patches and Sophie!

  13. 17
    MaryGaye LeBoeuf says:

    Carolyn’s clinic was an absolutely incredible sharing and learning experience. We who were blessed enough to attend found ourselves in the presence of the master of masters — Carolyn as a master of the language and love of horses and master of teaching. We learned so much during the clinic and the two days of lessons that followed. And we became so connected with each other, sharing in the lessons about loving and and becoming connected with our horses so that we could become the leaders our horses need us to be. Cowboy’s and my lesson with Carolyn was one of the most fun and fulfilling learning experiences of my life. And to see Carolyn describe our lesson as an “exhibition of my method, and a ballet of connection we all wish we had” was almost overwhelming for me. Until discovering the WHR, Cowboy and I had a very difficult time. He was often stubborn and would not move when asked. Then he was also very aggressive toward other horses and had no friends in the herd; although they did treat him as their leader, albiet a leader from a distance who could be a bit of a bully. However, Cowboy was sweet and loving toward me and other people, and I knew that underneath that tough exterior was a loving, affectionate horse. However, how to bring that horse to the surface was a problem I could not solve, until I discovered the WHR. Working with Carolyn’s certified trainer, Ruella Yates, over the past 10 months, Cowboy and I have been transformed forever and out lives improved immensely. Since beginning the WHR, Cowboy’s behavior with the horses in the herd is as different as night and day. He is still the leader, but he is a kinder, caretaking leader, whom the other horses love and respect. He no longer charges other horses who come within 20 feet of him. He has a girlfriend and other friends with whom he can graze and nap. He can approach a round bale of hay without charging and causing a mass exodus, and stand calmly eating hay with other horses standing nearby and sharing the bale. I have learned to be a better leader and Cowboy now listens to me at liberty and we can dance in ways unimaginable before the WHR. Although, it has not always been an easy road, and at times I despaired that I had picked a horse that was too difficult to start with the WHR. However, with the lessons and support from Ruella over the last 10 months, we made great strides. Then, the two days of learning during Carolyn’s clinic, especially about putting on the gas pedal (which Cowboy frequently lacked) made things even clearer in my mind and helped me know how to get Cowboy to move. Just watching Carolyn and how she moves to direct the horses is an amazing experience. Then, when I was able to take all I had learned into Cowboy’s and my two immensely fun and fulfilling lessons with Carolyn, everything clicked into place, and we danced. . . the dance of my dreams. A dance that would have never happened without the love, connection and strong leadership brought into Cowboy’s and my life through the WHR. Thank You Carolyn and Ruella for teaching Cowboy and I how to dance! We now dance everyday in a celebration of joy and love for the great gift you have given to the world of horses and humans!

    Much Love, MaryGaye

  14. 16

    Lovely Carolyn – gratitude moves like a beautifully soft and aromatic wind through your story – my eyes turned moist – looking forward to your gaspedal DVD – take care – Geerteke

  15. 15
    claire preddy icc spring anf fall 2011 says:

    Hi Carolyn and Ruella,
    it was lovely reading this so it must have been magical experiencing it! I too look forward to the DVD.

    Kind regards to you both,

  16. 14

    Lovely! We practice Waterhole Rituals but sometimes some horses I think need a better gas pedal. Look forward to your DVD.

  17. 13
    Chuck Bartok says:

    Your clinic sound like something not to miss. I read about it through article posted by Ruella
    Carolyn Resnick Clinic

  18. 12
    Anne-Marie says:

    I am looking forward to the gas pedal DVD. I see that I am not the only one who is “gas-pedal challenged “with an introverted mare.

    Thanks for the blog,


  19. 11

    Hi Carolyn & Ruella,

    As I e-mailed Ruella, “I can feel the glow all the way to the Carolinas”. I know it was a wonderful clinic. Carolyn, it’s good you recognized how good it is for you to travel and teach.

    Ruella, what a hostess providing the entertainment with the Native American dancing. How clever! I can’t wait till we meet. Like you said, we will someday. Oh how I wish i could have been there.

    Thanks for this wonderful blog. I feel I’m part of the herd. What a great lead mare we have in you Carolyn.

    Big hug,


  20. 10
    Francis says:

    I already read serveral posts on Facebook about how special and wonderfull the clinic was and your post is yet another great report with wonderful stories of special moments (especially the part about Patches and Sophie <3 )
    I defenately will order the DVD and although it's a huge trip, I hope that some day you'll be making a trip to Europe to give a clinic here.


  21. 9
    kate wood says:

    Dear Carolyn,
    I cannot wait for the gas pedal DVD!! Please know that there are lots of us awaiting a NEW answer to that question of how to get our introverted horses to go forward!
    I loved reading this: “we can train the horse to respect our leadership and develop his care taking nature…”
    I saw this so clearly in action this week with one of my mustangs, Rascal. He has been playing with two 8 yr old girls for quite a while on the ground, but this week, they both rode him for for the first time. I felt like weeping with joy when I saw how careful he was with them, how quiet, how relaxed he stayed, how gently he trotted for them, how carefully he transitioned to a walk, how care- taking he was of these sweet young girls. He was the ultimate care-taker. I was so very proud of him!
    Thank you for leading us this way. It keeps our hearts open and our bodies safe.

  22. 8
    Lisa Hill says:

    Wow Carolyn, sounds like you and the othe guest sure had a great time of learning and laughing at Ruellas. I also can’t wait for the DVD on getting a great gas pedal. Thanks for sharing. Blessings~Lisa & Magnum

  23. 7
    stina says:

    It is so good to read about the clinic, I am so happy that you get to do some more clinics and can share your method with more people. It must be amazing to actually be able to bring your own horse to one of your clinics.
    I so wish you could drive over here to my ranch in the Caribbean and meet our former wild horses here.
    Looking forward to hear when the next clinic is set up and I really hope to participate in one myself.

    Ruella, great pictures and beautiful horses at the clinic.

    I enjoyed the love story, I have been very amazed understanding how horses form such strong partnerships and how important this is.

    Much Sunshine from Stina

  24. 6
    Jannie Smit (IC Spring and Summer 2012) says:


    How wonderful to read that the clinic went so well (not that I had any doubts about that). It makes me even more excited about the clinic in December, what is not that far away anymore.

    I would like to share my enthusiasm with you and others.

    I have had a great breakthrough with Ivanhoe in the last days. Our CW has improved so much, we can now walk next to each other with both being relaxed, I can feel the bond growing. He is more willing to just stand there with me. We have had two speeds of walk. He lifts his front foot when I ask him. We have done our first Clover Leaf Pattern yesterday and it went sooo great. There is big improvement in saddling up. He always is good when I put his food out but he always had his ears back, now we have ears forward. His whole attitude is so much softer :)

    I am over the moon with the changes and all this with just taking our time, no agenda, be happy with every small change and don’t worry if it is not going the way I thought it would and PAUSE, try something else.

    Thank you Carolyn.

    And Ruella, I am so pleased you had such a great clinic at your place, I wish I could have been there.


  25. 5
    Monique Ros says:

    Dear Carolyn and Ruella

    This is a great and beautiful post, can’t wayt to see the DVD

    Lots of Love


  26. 4

    Dear Carolyn
    So pleased you had a wonderful time with Ruella. Lovely to see friends like Susan with you. It is so nice to see some photos. I also will look forward to the DVD.
    Much love
    Carolyn B x

  27. 3
    Sally Leong says:


    Thanks for telling about your wonderful adventure! Looking forward to your DVD.


  28. 2
    Ruby Morgan says:

    I can’t wait for the gas pedal DVD! I found that once we playfully got the gas pedal going my mares and I have fun, fun, fun!
    It was the key to being together!
    Thank you Carolyn!
    Much love

  29. 1
    Leanna Kielian says:


    What a beautiful post, thank you for sharing. I am sure there are many smiles on the faces of both the attendees and their horses who attended this clinic.